Karl Rove: Turning On The Spit

Karl Rove, Harriet Miers, and Josh Bolton are finally going to submit to questioning from the House Judiciary Committee. The agreement for their testimony spares them from having to appear under oath or in public. Although there will be a transcription of the proceedings, it will not be released until after the hearings are completed.

In reporting this concession, Bill Sammon, the Washington managing editor for Fox News, couldn’t help spinning the story in the most journalistically irresponsible manner possible. In an obvious attempt to disparage the chairman of the committee, Rep. John Conyers, Sammon wrote this:

“We’re closing in on Rove,” Conyers was overheard saying by two people just off the House floor last year. “Someone’s got to kick his ass.”

So two unidentified people just off the House floor, whom Sammon quoted without indicating whether they might have a partisan bias, happened to “overhear” something that they assert Conyers said. This means that they weren’t even participants in the conversation. And yet, this thoroughly unreliable pair of mysterious eavesdroppers are submitted by Sammon as sources for his reporting. It does provide a nice intro for Rove’s folksy self-defense:

“I understand they [Miers and Bolten] may be the hors d’oeuvres, but I’m the main course,” said Rove, who was Bush’s top political adviser in the White House. “Some Democrats would love to have me barbecued.”

It was generous of Sammon to set Rove up for that bit of theater and to preemptively tarnish the committee conducting the investigation. But it also provides additional proof that Sammon is a bald-faced partisan, and Fox News is the employer of choice for such hacks.

As for barbecuing Rove, the reason Democrats would love to see him turning on the spit (i.e. rotating on a skewer) is precisely because throughout his career he has been turning on the spit (i.e. orally ejecting (political) secretions).